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PennMUSH license concerns.

Concern has been expressed on the debian-devel list about license status of PennMUSH and its legitimacy. PennMUSH was relicensed under the Artistic License as of version 1.7.6p0 in November 2002. Aspects of PennMUSH's code have been drawn from, of course, it's TinyMUD roots as well as its 'sibling' codebase, TinyMUSH (2.0, 2.2, 3.0).

I spoke with the PennMUSH source maintainer and one of the developers/upstream authors, Alan Schwartz (aka Javelin), about any information regarding how the relicensing was handled and the concerns expressed about it. This is what he said in response:

TinyMUSH 2.0, whose authors relicensed all their code in 1995 to a BSD license, so that's clean. We also contacted the TM 2.0 authors (Joseph Traub and Glenn Crocker) and got their agreement anyway. The next bit is TinyMUSH 2.2, which their devteam (Jean Marie Diaz, Lydia Leong, Devin Hooker) all agreed to relicense under Artistic (from 2.2.5, I believe), and I have their email saying so. Then there's the PennMUSH copyright holder (me, Talek, Raevnos), and we all agreed. So Penn's clean. TM 3.0's dev team also switched to Artistic (as did tinymux, I believe) at the same time. I don't know anything about 2.2.4unoff, which we've never incorporated code from to my knowledge.

He has also stated that he did track down all authors which followed TinyMUD, which was cleanly licensed under the BSD license, to get their approval, and has emails from them granting permission.

I would appreciate any comments regarding whether concerns about PennMUSH's legitimacy under the Artistic License are valid, and legal obstacles for its inclusion as a Debian package.


Ervin Hearn III


----- Ervin Hearn III -----| KorongilMUSH Code & Theme Wizard
Email: noltar@korongil.net | http://www.korongil.org/
http://noltar.korongil.org | telnet://mush.korongil.org:6250
'Myth based on Legend, Legend based on Fact, Fact is Reality.'
- Noltar uth Mormadar

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